ICE's current aim is to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants.1 Under President Obama's administration, ICE was instructed to arrest immigrants only if they are a threat to public safety. In a February, 2017 memo, Matthew Albence, the head of the Immigration and Customs unit in charge of deportations, informed his 5,700 Enforcement and Removal Operations officers that, “effective immediately, ERO officers will take enforcement action against all removable aliens encountered in the course of their duties.”2ICE aims to deport unauthorized immigrants as quickly aspossible. If immigrants want to challenge their deportation, ICE keeps them in prison for many months or even years3 as they wait to appear before an immigration judge.
More than 800,000 college students have registered under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) approved by President Obama in 2012. The Miami Herald reported that the White House said that President Trump will not support a new bipartisan plan to protect young undocumented immigrants from being placed back in line for deportation. The Miami Herald Editorial Board wrote that "The possible end of DACA is a clear sign that not only dangerous criminals, but any undocumented immigrant, even if law-abiding and ambitious, is eligible for deportation."4
1. Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvement Policies. February 20, 2017. https://www.dhs.gov/publication/implementing-presidents-border-security-and-immigration-enforcement-improvement-policies
2. Rochabrun, Marcelo. “ICE Officers Told to Take Action Against All Undocumented Immigrants Encountered While on Duty.” Pro Publica, July 7, 2017
3. Arulanantham, Ahilan T. Director of Advocacy and Legal Director at the ACLU of Southern California. “Detained Immigrants Aren’t Awaiting Deportation. They’re Awaiting Justice.” Justice Not Jails: A Program of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, November 6, 2016. http://justicenotjails.org/immigrant-detainees/
4. Miami Herald Editorial Board. "DREAMers hope for amnesty is in danger." 7/19/17